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1374 [1374]

K. Henry. 8. Olde Euidences declaring the auncientnes of Priestes Mariage.

nall of Crema the Popes Legate, MarginaliaOf thys Cardinall Cremens. read before pag. 256. col 2.sent the same time into England. an. 1129. Of which Cardinall Cremensis, because enough hath bene before declared, how after hys stoute replying in the Councell of London, against the maryed state of priestes, exclaming what a shamefull thing it was, to ryse from the sides of an whore to make Christes bodye, the night following was shamefully taken with a notable whore. &c. as is apparaunt before, pag. 256. 

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See 1570, p. 256, 1576, p. 201 and 1583, p. 199.

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I will therfore passe ouer that matter, returning agayn to William the Archb. who with þe Cardinall Legate aforesayd, although he busily occupied him selfe in repriuing the Matrimonie of priestes: in somuch, that he would geue thē no longer respite to put away their wiues, but from Michaelmas to S. Andrewes day following, yet coulde hee not bring his purpose to passe, but that the priestes stil continued with their wiues by the kinges leaue, as the Saxon storye playnly recordeth in these wordes: MarginaliaChronic. Saxonic.Þis bebed se Arcebiscop william of Canterbriges . and ealle ða leod Biscopes ða ða wæron on Engelonde . and ne forstod noht ealle ða bodlaces . eall heoldon her wifes be ðæs Kinges leue . swa swa hi ear didon ; That is to say in Englishe: MarginaliaThe priestes kept their wiues contrarye to the Archbyshops commaundement.Thys William the Archbyshop of Canterbury and the Byshops which were in England dyd commaund, and yet all these decrees and biddings stoode not: all helde their wiues by the kinges leaue, euen so as they before dyd. &c. So hard was thys cause to bee wonne, that the Archbyshop at length gaue it ouer, and lefte the controuersie wholye vnto the kyng. MarginaliaAn. 25. Henr.Wherupon he decreed that þe priestes should remaine with their wiues still 

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Technically Henry I, in 1129, upheld the prohibition against clerical wives and declared that married priests were to be deprived of their livings by 30 Nov. 1129. But, in practice, were allowed to keep both wives and livings upon payment of a fine to the Exchequer.

. And so continued they after that, in þe tyme of Theobaldus after hym, of Thomas Becket, Richard, Baldwyne, Steuen Langhton, Richard, Edmunde, Boniface, Peccham, and other, during well neare the time after Anselme, 200. yeares.

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And lest the quareling aduersarie being peraduenture disposed here to cauell, should obiecte and say, that such mariage among the spirituall men myght bee priuate and secret, but not openly knowen nor quietlye suffered by any lawe of thys realme: to auoyde therfore what may be by thē obiected, I thought it good, & as a thing neither impertinent nor vnprofitable to this story, and for the further satisfying of þe readers minde herein, MarginaliaPriestes with their wiues how long they continued in England after inferre and make knowen by good recorde, not onely that the libertie of mariage amongest spirituall men, hath continued within thys realme during þe time aforesaid (vidz) 200. yeares or therabouts, after Anselme, and that not in secrete wyse, but also openlye, and being knowen, the same to bee suffered and lawfullye allowed of, in such sorte, as both they, their wiues, children, and assignes, myght enherite and inioye landes, tenementes, and other hereditamentes, by way of feofement, deede of gifte, or any other assuraunce, in such sort, maner, and forme, as lay mē, their heyres, and assignes at this day lawfully may doe. As by diuers wrytinges and instrumentes shewed vnto vs at the wryting hereof, by diuers mē (whose names hereafter followe) some to thys day remayning fayre sealed, some by antiquitie and longe keeping, much worne, & their seales moulderd & wasted, is very euident and manifest to be seene. The copies wherof, being by vs trulye and faythfully excerpted out of the very originals (being yet extante) we haue here vnder inserted 

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Here Foxe is reprinting 18 charters to demonstrate that there were married priests as late as the early fourteenth century. Foxe acquired 11 of these charters from a student at the Inner Temple named John Ford (who may not only have provided Foxe with the eleven charters, but he may also have provided the knowledge of English law displayed at points in this 'allegation'), while seven of came from John Hunt of Little Bradley, Suffolk (lord of the manor of Little Bradley Suffolk). Hunt was John Day's brother-in-law, the latter of whom was the printer of the Acts and Monuments.

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, as followeth.

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¶ Certayne instrumentes and euidences of auncient record, declaring the mariage of priestes to haue stand in tymes past, both with auncient custome, and publike lawes of thys Realme.

MarginaliaOlde writtes & dedes, declaring the auncientnes of priestes mariage.SCiāt præsentes & futuri quod ego VVilliel. de Blundeuille miles, conceßi, dedi, & hac præsenti charta mea confirmaui Stephano de Saxlingham Clerico & Matildæ vxori suæ pro homagijs & serui-tijs suis, et pro sex marcis argenti quas mihi dederūt in Marginalia* Gersuma is a Saxon terme, and signifieth as much as homage.* gersumam, vnam peciā terræ arabilis, quæ iacet in campo de Neuton in cultura, inter mesuagium Galfridi Sulyard & cœmeteriū Ecclesiæ de Neuton, inter terram Radulphi Malherbe, & terram Ioannis de Neuton, et abuttat super Regiam stratam versus orientem, & super terram quæ fuit Henrici Popiltele versus occidentem: Habend. & tenend. de me & hæredibus meis, illis & hæredibus suis, aut quibuscunq; dare, legare, vendere vel aßignare voluerint, in quocūq; statu fuerint, liberè, quietè, in feodo, perpetuè & hereditariè: Beddendo inde annuatim mihi et hæredibus meis duos denaries, scilicet ad festum sancti Andreæ vnum denarium, & ad natiuitatem Sancti Ioannis Baptistæ vnum denarium. Et ego VVilliel. de Blundeuill, & hæredes mei vvarrantizabimus, acquietabimus & deffendemus prædictam peciam terræ prænominatis Stephano & Matildæ vxori suæ & hæredibus suis, aut cuicunq; dare, legare, vendere, vel aßignare voluerint contra omnes gentes tam Iudæos quam Christianos in perpetuum per præfatum seruitium. Et vt hæc mea conceßio & donatio rata sit & stabilis in perpetuum, hanc cartam sigillo meo roboraus: His testibus, Radulpho Malherbe, VVillielmo de Raynestorp, Ioanne de Neuton, VVillielmo Cancbot, & alijs.

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☞ This sayd pece of Euidence called a dede of Feofemēt of lādes remayneth in the keping of Thomas Blundeuill of Neuton Flotman in the Countie of Northfolke Esquyer at this present (videlicet) 22. die Nouembris Anno R. Eliz. R. decimo. Et anno Domini. 1567. Who (I know) will not refuse to shewe the same to any man that shall desyre the sight therof.

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¶ Other deedes and instrumentes of lyke antiquitie, declaryng the same.

Other instrumentes & Euidences of like antiquitie.
SIcut omnes præsentes & futuri quòd ego Williel. Filius Walteri, dominus de Rideware Hamstall, concessi, & tradidi, Ioanni filio Galfridi de Edinghal Clerico & vxori suæ Matildæ filiæ Henrici Colbein, vnam dimidiā virgatam terræ in Edinghall, cvm omnibus pertinentijs, in tofcis & croftis, pratis & pasturis in villa & in territorio de Edinghall: illam scilicet quam Thomas Plamer aliquandò de me tenuit: Habend. & tenend. de me & de hæredibus meis, sibi & vxori suæ Matildæ, ad totam vitam eorum, liberè & quietè, benè & pacieficè. &c. Et Ego verè Williel. & hæred. mei prædict. dimidiam virgatam terræ cum pertinētijs prædict. Ioanni & vxori suæ prædict. ad totam vitam eorū contra omnes gentes Warrantizabimus. &c. In huius concessionis & traditionis robur & testimonium vterq; nostrum alterius scripto sigillum suum apposuit: His testibus, Roberto Saluein de Haseloure, Andrea Saluein de eadem, Ioanne Filio Radulphi de Edinghall, Richardo de Ykebrom, Roberto de Fryeford, & alijs.

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¶ An other euidence touching the same.

An other like Euidence.
SCiāt præsentes & futuri quòd ego Radulphus filius & hæres Ioannis Wiscarde de Sceyle dedi, & concessi, & hac mea præsenti carta confirmaui Agneti de Welintona vnam acram terræ in territorio de maiori Sceylæ quæ iacet super le Wouelendis, inter terram monachorum de Miriuall, extendētem se ad vnum caput super foreram monachorum de Miriuall, & aliud caput versus villam de Sceyle: Habendum & tenendum de me & hæredibus meis vel assignatis & eorum hæredibus prædict. Agneti de Welintona & pueris suis de Will. Persona de Lollinton procreatis, videlicet Willielmo filio suo primogenito, si superuixerit matri suæ. MarginaliaNote thys person of Lollinton with hys wife and children knowen and well allowed.Deinde Galfrido fratri eius. Postea Roberto fratri eorum iuniori. Deinde sorotibus eorū si frater superstes nō suerit. Ita quidem quòd quilibet eorum alteri succedt, indictam terram cum petinētijs licencialiter sine omni recognitione mihi & omnibus meis prædictis facienda: & quòd hæredibus vel assignatis vltimi vel vltimæ possidentis remaneat vlterius in perpetuum liberè, & quietè, bene & in pace iure perpetuo: Reddēdo inde annuatim mihi & hæredib9 meis vel assignatis meis & eorū hæredibus vnū obolū argenti ad pascha, pro omnibus seruitijs, & exactionibus, wardis, maritagijs, releuijs, legatis, taliagijs, & omnimodis sectis comitatas, hundredorum & curiæ meæ & hæredum meorum, & aliorum, & seruitijs forinsecis vel exigentijs humanis. Ego vero Radulphus & hæredes mei vel assignati & eorum hæredes, totam prædictam terram cum pertinentijs, prædictæ Agneti & filijs suis & filiabus post decessum prædictæ Agnetis, singulis eorum de dicta persona genitis vni post alterum successiuè, & hæredibus vel assignatis vltimi vel vltimæ possidentis (vt prædictum est) contra omnes mortales in perpetuum warrantizabimus, acquieta-

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